It’s pretty exciting times around the Fenwick High School Athletic Department these days. Aside from the Friars’ deep run in the baseball state playoffs under legendary coach Dave Hogan, the girls water polo team won a state title and the boys water polo squad took second in the state state this spring, the softball team claimed a regional title, and the recently graduated Class of 2014 student-athletes was about as good as it gets. Count the Fenwick football program in on the fun, which just added, Jack Beneventi, one of the premier football players in the state to its roster for the upcoming season.

6-foot-6 quarterback Jack Beneventi has transferred from Benet to Fenwick. According to Benet football coach Pat New the transfer became official last week and Beneventi’s family is in the process of moving to Oak Park.

“I met with Jack and he’s a very well-read kid,” Fenwick coach Gene Nudo said. “I looked at some of his interviews online and he handles himself very well. Like Fenwick, Benet is an excellent school and we’re looking forward to having him be a part of our school and program.”

For good measure, Mundelein quarterback, Gavin Graves (a two-year starter) is also transferring to Fenwick. The Friars’ suddenly stacked stable of signal callers also includes some in-house candidates for playing time.

Beneventi is a University of Iowa commit and generally regarded as one of the premier quarterbacks in the state. He led Benet to the Class 7A semifinals during his sophomore season and guided the Redwings to another postseason appearance in 2013.

As a two-year varsity starter at Benet, the strong-armed Beneventi threw for 3,800 yards and 27 touchdowns.

His arrival will help the Friars absorb the loss of four outstanding playmakers in quarterback Gino Cavalieri, Class 7A All-State running back Robert Spillane, wide receiver/returner Richard Schoen and tight end Ryan Smith, who all graduated from Fenwick this spring but powered the Friars to a 9-2 record in the fall of 2013. All four will play college football next season.

Beneventi figures to serve as the Friars’ focal point offensively next season. Center Greg Lazzara is the only returning starter on offense. Defensively, the Friars return 9 of 11 starters including stars like defensive lineman Chris Hawthorne and cornerback Aaron Garland.

Fenwick, which held its Camp Z football camp over the weekend at the Priory, has won the Chicago Catholic League White Division the past two seasons. Beneventi attended the camp.

Although shocking playoff losses to Rockford Boylan and Wheaton North the past two seasons were tough pills to swallow, the program is clearly headed in the right direction under Nudo. Over the past two regular seasons, the Friars have amassed a 15-3 record.

Obviously, Beneventi attending Fenwick is the latest good news for the Friars, who open next season against Carmel on Friday, August 29 (7:30 p.m.) in Mundelein.

“Jack is a unique talent,” Nudo said, “but we’ll plan on our offense around what we do best. We kind of have a reputation as a grind it out team that sprinkles in some passing, but we threw the ball as well last season. Ideally, we want a nice balance offensively”

Other games of note include the Friars’ home opener against Dallas Bishop Lynch on Saturday, Sept. 6 (1 p.m.) at Concordia, followed by another home game at Concordia on Saturday, Sept. 13 (1 p.m.) against De La Salle, and then a major road test at Loyola on Saturday, Sept. 20 (1 p.m.). The Friars also visit Montini on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Loyola and Montini finished as state runner-up in the Class 8A and 5A playoffs, respectively.

“We have a very challenging schedule but we’re looking forward to it,” Nudo said. “Our kids work hard and expect to win.”

Fenwick swim lessons

Fenwick High School is offering swim lessons for children ages 5 and up. Classes will be offered as two week lessons, Mon.-Thur. for 45 minutes. Session 1 is June 16-26; Session 2 is June 30- July 10; Session 3 is July 14-24.

Class times for Session 1 are 10:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 pm. Sessions 2 & 3 have openings at 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Cost is $99 per participant for 1 session, $185 for 2 sessions and $265 for 3 sessions.

Typically, 3-5 swimmers work with each instructor, especially with the beginning swimmers. Registration information can be found online at: – If you need more information, please call Kyle Perry at 708-386-0127 ext. 195.

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